It was probably an insider who sold the story to ABC. Someone close to Whitney knew about her death and decided to make money of the story. This is something that happens a lot especially with famous people.
It doesn't matter what family member or friend, if any, told Barbara or ABC...the truth is THEY DON'T KNOW what happened! Let me quote Barbara from the show. I DVR'd the show. Barbara said: "She took a sedative, she was on drugs, she'd been in rehab twice, and she drowned." Whoopy said "That is one of the things they ..." then she was cut off by Barbara saying: "Whoopy that is the case, Whoopy that is the case..."
Wow! That is strange because the coroner's office stated 2-14 that they have not released any information to their families. The coroner's office hasn't made it public in any way but Barbara Walters knows the FACTS already. Barbara this is so disappointing and rude. It's one thing that you cut everyone off on the show (especially Elizabeth & Whoopy and Sherry)but it's another when you tell the world you know the facts and the reason behind someones death. I used to respect you and your reporting, but you have gone down hill lately in your attitude and your information.